Fast fashion is taking a toll on the environment by producing tons of waste . Statistics show that the fashion industry produces 92 million tons of toxic pollutants as waste each year that’s released into water or dumped in landfill sites.
The same industry has also been accused of animal cruelty since fur and leather items are all the rage on ramps. Research has confirmed that billions of animals are killed each year to produce animal leather, cashmere, wool, mohair and wool.
There are many other ways in which this multi-trillion-dollar apparel industry is affecting the ecosystem. Clothing businesses depend on cotton, which is a water-intensive crop. The Wrap report from 2017 revealed that one kilogram of cotton leaves behind a footprint of 10,000–20,000 liters of water. This amplifies the damage caused to limited water resources because the fashion industry is the both, the second-largest consumer and polluter of water.
Here are some necessary steps the industry needs to take to go green!
As we know, cotton and leather is fodder for the fashion industry and without that, it won’t be able to sustain itself. But it’s difficult to ignore how fast and how much the fashion world is endangering our world.
There’s an eco-friendly way of replacing the thirsty cotton crop with alternative fiber: banana sylk. This is a classic wealth-from-waste approach because it uses the stems of banana plants to make fabric for our wardrobes.
As for the leather bags that we adore, there are waste pineapple leaves to replace animal skin. Piñatex is a Spanish clothing brand that has pioneered such a product range in the market. 480 pineapple leaves also cost half of what traditional animal derived leather costs.
A venture based in New Jersey—Modern Meadow— introduced the idea of making collagen from yeast. They applied sugar feedstock to yeast cells and engineered collagen that was then made into sheets and tanned to make leather. This is an innovative alternative to animal cruelty at the hands of the fashion industry.
If you have a thing for vibrant hues, think of all the toxic waste material being released in water in the form of chemical dyes. If the industry is truly going to go green, it’ll need to switch to other sources for siphoning pigments.
Plants, micro-organisms and sugar molasses are good substitutes for dying fashion products than acidic solvents and toxic dyes. They also allow for water conservation because they only use one-tenth the amount of water solvents, compared to chemic dyeing processes.
If you want to see more of such environment-friendly fashion practice in action, contact us. We’re stationed in Baltimore and we buy second-hand clothes to recycle them into commercial products and apparel.